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How to Apply

Selection Criteria

Cornell Botanic Gardens Graduate Fellows are selected based on:

  • Dedication to the public garden field – looking for likelihood of future career role in the public garden arena
  • Work and life experience – looking for potential contribution to academic requirements of the program
  • Leadership qualities and potential contribution – looking for leadership characteristics and potential impact on this field
  • Academic background – looking for ability to excel academically at a world-class university

Application Process

Individuals interested in applying to the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership must apply through Cornell University's Graduate School.
The required application consists of:

1.    The online "application for admission" form (on the Graduate School’s website)

  • Under "Proposed field of study," enter Horticulture.
  • Under "Major subject or area of concentration," enter Human-plant interactions.

2.    A statement of purpose

  • in the first sentence of your statement, indicate that you are applying for the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership
  • This statement of purpose should explain why you are interested in the PGL program, how your background has prepared/lead you to this program, what you hope to gain through the PGL program and your career aspirations.

3.    Three letters of recommendation (Ideally we like to see a diversity of recommenders, e.g. someone who can speak about your academic abilities, someone who can talk about your professional and leadership abilities).

4.    GRE scores

5.    Current resume

  • The resume must be submitted separately from the Graduate Schools’ online application and sent to: Graduate Field Assistant, Field of Horticulture, 134A Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English
language by taking a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or
IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System) exam.
(See exceptions.)

These materials should be filed online on or before February 1st.

Selection process

All application materials must be received by February 1st. The horticulture graduate field assistant will wait for a week after the deadline to begin reviewing applications and if any supporting documents are missing, applicants will be notified via email to complete your application. If however the bulk of your application has not been received on or about the deadline, the application may be rejected.

Once all applications have been processed, the review committee will meet and review all applications and decide which applicants to interview by phone, skype, and/or in person. After selected candidates are interviewed, the committee will extend acceptance offers to two students.  Once the fellows have been selected, notifications will be sent to all applicants. 

This process generally takes 2- 3 months.